Financial future unclear for Guelph Rec Centre project
Published Friday, June 14, 2019 10:03AM EDT
The City of Guelph is unsure how they will pay for a south end rec centre after new provincial legislation was passed.
The More Homes, More Choices Act includes a significant change in how municipalities can charge developers.
These fees were expected to cover 90-95 per cent of the 60 million project that has been in development for almost 20 years.
“I moved into the south end of the city in 2000 and at the time we were told there’s a rec centre coming,” said Ward 6 City Councillor Dominique O’Rourke. “Our kids are almost grown now and they may never set foot in that facility.”
City of Guelph Treasurer Tara Baker says the bill passed on June 8 says it raises uncertainty about their ability to fund future capital projects.
“The amount of revenue over the next 10 years is approximately $155 million that we would be expecting to collect,” she said.
In a few months, council would have been giving final approval to get project started at the site.
Now, the city is waiting for a conference call with the province to see how the funding formula will work.
“It looks like there’s this good reset that is happening between municipalities and the province,” said Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie. “So I’m very optimistic.”
The province plans to give out a new community benefit.
It’s unknown if the benefit will make up for what municipalities could have collected on collecting development charges.